Healthy Child with Dr Ranj Singh: Spring 2022

Page 84

Health Check

Cutting Out Dairy People choose to cut dairy products from their diet for lots of reasons, but is it a good move for your kids’ health?


f you think of all the familiar dairy foods, the list is pretty long – starting with milk, which most of us consume every day, then taking in cheese, butter, yoghurt, cream, ice cream, sour cream, cream cheese, custard… all stuff most of us love. And there are good reasons to eat dairy products – they’re full of calcium, protein, carbohydrates, energy-giving fats minerals including zinc, iodine and phosphorus, and vitamins including A, B12 and riboflavin. For these reason, milk and other dairy products are particularly essential in the diet of growing children, particularly for the development of their bones and teeth. So why would some people want to give up dairy?


84 | Healthy Child with Dr Ranj Singh

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Lactose intolerance is normally not so serious, though it can affect the amount of dairy product you consume. Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk, but there is less of it in yoghurt and cheese so these are usually well tolerated, and in fact you can buy lactose-free milks and other dairy products.


✤ D airy causes acne – there’s no real evidence for this, and adolescents, who often suffer acne, need the bone

and strength-building functions of dairy ✤ M ilk makes mucus – a bit of an old wives’ tale suggesting you shouldn’t drink milk if you have a cold. But if you think that dairy products are causing a child’s respiratory issues, discuss it with your GP as it could be a sign of cow’s milk protein allergy. ✤ Cutting dairy aids ASD – some studies suggest a gluten and casein-

Images: Dreamstime

There are a variety of reasons for wanting to give up dairy – you may have an intolerance or allergy, you may have ethical or religious concerns about farmed products, or you may believe for some reason that dairy is bad for you. Certainly whether you are considering cutting out dairy for yourself or a child, you should consult your GP or a nutritionist first. Certainly there are some good reasons for wanting to avoid dairy, such as if you have an allergy to the whey or casein proteins in milk. These allergies can cause hives, vomiting, diarrhoea, eczema and respiratory problems, ranging up to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Around 85 percent of children with a milk allergy will grow out of it by the age of three, but may suffer asthma, eczema or other allergies.

14/02/2022 15:47

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